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MIKAL CRONIN

Mikal Cronin

Seeker

    Mikal Cronin releases Seeker, his fourth and finest full-length to date. Recorded live with a crew of close friends and engineer Jason Quever at Palmetto Studios in Los Angeles, it finds Cronin pushing his often devastating power pop into darker territory—from the isolation of “Show Me” to the desperation of “Fire” to the unadorned heartache of “Sold.”

    It comes with a backstory that feels like fate. Cronin writes:

    I was stuck. I’d had a rough few years. Relationships end, begin, and end again. I had to stay active, tour with other bands, make music through various other avenues—writer’s block is real and it can crush you, scratching at an itch you can’t quite get. I needed to clean up, to stop leaning on external crutches to get through the anxiety. I needed to grow the fuck up.

    I needed a change.

    I went to the woods, to Idyllwild, a small town in the mountains of southern California. I spent a month in a cabin there, alone with my cat, Ernie. It was so quiet and peaceful. I got weird looks at the store. I got bug bites that didn’t heal for months. I walked around a small lake a few times. I wrote. I took literally something that’s usually a hypothetical, something every artist thinks about doing. It worked: A large majority of Seeker was written and demoed there.

    But then I had to go, immediately. An arsonist had sparked a series of fires and the woods exploded. I saw the flames coming up the hill as I packed up all my instruments and recording equipment. Ernie hid under the bed and was the last to go. I got him in the car just as the police came up the street to help with evacuations. I ended up home in LA a few days early; a small blessing because I was losing my mind a bit.

    Once I was back, I was ready to make something. I needed help. I found Jason [Quever] and his studio. I collected as many friends as I could and brought them in to record live with me. I needed the energy of a group of people in a room playing together—a simple concept but one that I had never tried with my own songs. Most of the record is backed by Ty Segall’s Freedom Band. I play bass in this band. We had been touring and playing together for a long run over a few years, so it seemed natural to stick together.

    I aimed for nature. I wanted organic sounds. I wanted to bring you into the room. Jason and I talked about The Beatles’ White Album a lot when placing mics. I brought a charred pine cone from the woods to the studio, just in case it would help. Fire—specifically its cycle of purging and reseeding the landscape—is a central theme to the record. Death and rebirth.

    I was looking for something: answers, direction, peace. I am the seeker.



    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Superb new album from Ty Segall's Mikal Cronin, encompassing the shredding psych-rock vibe of his parent band but with a definite sound of his own. Tender moments are cut through with a swathe of distorted guitar and Cronin's gravelly vocals. At points, 'Seeker' veers towards country-rock but with a more edgy, saturated edge. A brilliant development for Cronin, and a thrilling journey for us.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xDinked Edition LP Info: Edition of 450.
    Exclusive translucent green + black swirl vinyl LP.
    Includes exclusive bonus 12" with "Arsonist" b/w "Tsinosra" pressed on translucent red + yellow vinyl.
    Numbered.

    Mikal Cronin

    Mikal Cronin - Coloured Vinyl Reissue

      His 2011 debut album - BACK IN PRINT! Produced by Ty Segall. RIYL: Ty Segall, Elliot Smith, Del Shannon, Beach Boys, Everly Brothers, Nilsson. Conceived and recorded as a sort of therapy to help cope with adjusting to life post-college, an insuing break-up and geographic isolation Mikal Cronin steps momentarily away from the rhythm section of Orange County surf-punk bashers The Moonhearts with his debut solo LP. Fans can take heart, this isn’t a “vanity project” or half-baked endeavor - Mikal’s 2011 solo debut is fully realized, cohesive and beautiful, with themes that are as personal as they are universal; questioning your future, accepting your past and living in the moment. Taking influences such as late sixties Del Shannon and The Everly Brothers and filtering them through his own mutant California fuzz, Mikal deftly explores his singer/songwriter side that at moments feels like a punk Harry Nilsson or Curt Boettcher that balances sweet melodies & chords with chunky, psychedelic guitar freak-outs. Don’t let the opening Beach Boys-ian harmonies of “Is It Alright?” fool you into thinking this record can be easily pinned down... with long-time friend and collaborator Ty Segall producing, Eric Bauer (Ty Segall, Royal Baths) running the tape machine and guests like John Dwyer of The Oh-Sees, you can be positive you’re in for something special. Once those guitars kick in, and you hit that first transcendent chorus, you’ll be hooked and anxiously awaiting what comes next. “...an album of wistful, psychedelic pop that pits lush and layered arrangements against needle-pinning power chords.” 

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Limited Green & Red Haze vinyl version.

      Mikal Cronin

      Undertow / Breathe

        It’s easy to get caught up in an undertow, pulled down into the water, weightless and directionless. The current stirs and you lose your way. But eventually, if you’re lucky and patient, you can float back up to the surface and take a breath. This is my first new music in a while - my gulp of air. Many talented friends joined me, the basic tracks were recorded live together for the first time in my recording career. This felt good. Jason Quever recorded it in Los Angeles, December of 2018. Thanks for listening." 

        On May 4, Mikal Cronin will return with MCIII. Marked by the lush arrangements, stunning melodies, and deeply personal lyrical work for which Cronin is now known, the album is also a deliberate attempt to simply “go big.”

        As he did on his self-titled 2011 debut and 2013’s MCII, Cronin arranged and played nearly all of the record himself, including the tzouras, a traditional Greek string instrument he heard and subsequently bought while on tour in Athens. There’s French horn, saxophone, and trumpet. There are mood-altering crescendos and heartbreaking turns-of-phrase, guitars both gorgeous and pugnacious. No longer satisfied with the sound of “just one string player,” Cronin arranged parts for a full string quartet instead.

        Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin

        Reverse Shark Attack

        Originally released in 2009 as a vinyl-only title on the Kill Shaman label, Reverse Shark Attack is a collaboration by Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin, two longtime chums who grew up together in Laguna Beach. Both turned out to be hyper-prolific singer / songwriter / musicians who recorded as solo artists as well as performing in bands such as the Sic Alps, Moonhearts, Epsilons, Traditional Fools and Okie Dokie.

        Equal parts danceable garage rock and effects-ridden psychedelia, Reverse Shark Attack is a mind-blowing explosion of loud guitars, pounding rhythms and signature vocal harmonies, and these eight shambolic, psychedelic jams are sure to please the most scrutinizing rocker. The centerpiece of the album is the title track, a side-long epic that goes from Beatlesesque melody to psych / folk weirdness before exploding into a Ventures-induced headache of smashed drums and wildly vibrant surf guitars. It’s a must-have release for fans of these two artists, and nothing like either of them have done on their own.

        • Reissue of out-of-print 2009 collaboration, now highly sought-after
        • First time on CD; vinyl includes digital download coupon

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Darryl says: Originally released in 2009 this is a total in the red rave-up with full on noise guitars and melodic vocals hidden under the molten sludge. Epic stuff!!


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